Timbers U-23s earn 1-1 road draw at Victoria
VICTORIA, B.C. – Forward Mark Sherrod delivered the equalizing goal as the Portland Timbers U-23s earned a 1-1 draw against Victoria Highlanders FC before 1,078 fans at Royal Athletic Park on Saturday night, extending their unbeaten streak to three games.
The result moves the Timbers U-23s (8-3-2, 26pts) into a two-way tie for first place with the Kitsap Pumas in a tightly-contested Premier Development League Northwest Division; just two points separates the top four teams in the division. The Pumas (8-3-2, 26pts), as well as the Washington Crossfire (8-4-1, 25pts) and Seattle Sounders FC U-23 (7-2-3, 24pts), play on Sunday.
Playing their third road game in eight days, the Timbers U-23s overcame an early deficit as Highlanders FC’s Craig Gorman struck for the opening goal in the sixth minute. Portland pulled level at 1-1 on Sherrod’s goal in the 23rd minute and the team’s backline held Victoria to just three shots in the second half to preserve the draw.
Highlanders FC (3-6-4, 13pts) claimed the lead on Gorman’s team-best fifth goal of the season. Timbers U-23s goalkeeper Spencer Richey punched out a corner kick, but the ball fell to Gorman near the top of the box. On a full volley, Gorman blasted home the opening strike just six minutes in.
A free kick by midfielder Andrew Ribeiro led to Portland’s equalizer in the 23rd minute. Ribeiro bent the re-start around the Victoria wall, but was parried by goalkeeper Elliot Mitrou. The rebound fell to Sherrod inside the box and he deposited his ninth goal of the season into the back of the net.
The Timbers U-23s return home to face Washington and Kitsap in their final two regular-season home matches. Portland faces Washington on Friday, July 6, at Doc Harris Stadium in Camas, Wash., at 7 p.m. (Pacific). The Timbers U-23s then take on the Pumas on Sunday, July 8, at Hare Field in Hillsboro, Ore., at 6 p.m. (Pacific).
Notes: The Timbers U-23s completed their stretch of three road games in eight days with a record of 2-0-1. The team is unbeaten since a 4-3 loss to Seattle on June 22 … Portland finished the 2012 regular-season series against Victoria with an unbeaten record of 1-0-1 … The Timbers U-23s out-shot Highlanders FC 13-10, including an 8-3 margin in the second half … The Timbers U-23s improve to 3-2-2 on the road during the 2012 campaign … Forward Mark Sherrod is tied for second among the PDL’s goal-scoring leaders with nine goals. In total, he has scored four of his nine goals this season against Highlanders FC, recording a hat trick in their first meeting of the season May 19 … Following the match, Timbers U-23s defender Chris Harms was issued a red card; it was the team’s first send off in 2012.
VIC: Gorman, 6
POR: Sherrod, 23
POR: GK Spencer Richey, D Chris Harms, D Evyn Hewett, D Anthony Hobbs, D William Seymore (Nick Hammer, 65), M Steven Evans (Joey De Mare, 81), M Roberto Farfan (Reed Matte, 57), M Andrew Ribeiro, M Cam Vickers (Ricardo Carrillo, 71), F Mark Sherrod, F Emery Welshman
Unused subs: GK Justin Baarts, GK Keegan Rogers, F Clark Phillips